You were recently involved in an accident that caused extensive damage to your vehicle. However, you’re unsure if you should include auto repair bills in your claim. How do you determine who’s financially responsible for covering the repair costs? How do you go about obtaining compensation? Do you have to pay for the damages out of pocket?
The truth is that you should always include repair costs in a car accident claim. It’s tempting to opt out of filing a claim to avoid increasing your insurance premiums. However, it’s always advised that you claim your repair costs, and here are five reasons why our car accident attorneys recommend why:
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Reason #1 – You’re Not the At-Fault Party
You shouldn’t have to pay for any repairs out of pocket if someone else caused the accident. They’re responsible for the damages and must cover any costs incurred. Keep in mind that you can recover the total cash value of your vehicle if it’s deemed a total loss. Our personal injury attorney in San Diego can assist with this.
Reason #2 – The At-Fault Party’s Insurer Should Cover the Costs
You can also file a car accident claim through the at-fault party’s insurance company. An inspector will look at the car before you’re provided with an estimate of the damages. You should also have a mechanic inspect your vehicle and determine if their estimate is accurate. Using your own collision coverage is necessary if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance.
Reason #3 – Disagreements About Repair Costs
It’s prevalent for insurance companies to offer settlements that don’t cover all the repair costs. Remember, you can always negotiate for a better settlement instead of simply accepting an offer that doesn’t cover the difference. If you’re in a dispute with the insurance company, it’s advised that you contact an attorney to assist you with negotiations.
Reason #4 – You’re Paying Off a Car Loan
Paying off a loan on your vehicle is another reason to include the repair costs in your accident claim. Your lender will likely take part in approving the mechanic who assesses the damage and repairs your vehicle. You’re only a partial owner, so your job is to facilitate any repairs promptly.
Reason #5 – You Could Lose Your Insurance
Insurance companies often require you to undergo repairs to your vehicle by activating your insurance policy. Why? They don’t want to continue insuring a damaged vehicle for future damages. A second accident could worsen the existing damages, rendering the car irreparable.
Keep in mind that you have much more flexibility if you own the vehicle outright. However, it’s also common for insurance companies to cancel your coverage if you fail to repair your vehicle. Keeping your coverage will sometimes require you to show proof of the repairs.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
The legal experts at HHJ Trial Attorneys in San Diego are the right people to represent you. We handle car accident claims for many clients in southern California. Our job is to obtain a settlement on your behalf that covers the repair costs for your vehicle. Schedule an appointment with us today, and we can begin reviewing your case immediately.